This week’s blog post is a little bit different from my usual weekly articles. Instead of focusing on one topic or recipe, I’m doing a bit of seasonal housekeeping and sharing a few different things with you all in one place. I’ll be talking about some of my favorite fall season remedies that you can make now to keep on hand for when you need them throughout the cooler months, answering questions that I’ve been receiving often about our soon-to-launch Herbal Aromatherapy™ certification program, and sharing a little bit more information about the scholarships we’re offering.
Fall Remedies to Make Now
Every fall, I make new batches of fire cider and elderberry syrup. These two remedies really help me to support the health of my immune system throughout the fall and winter. You can use both of them at the very first sign of cold or flu symptoms. I often find that they will help arrest that bug so I don’t even end up getting sick, but when I do come down with something, they really help me to feel better and shorten the duration of my illness. Both of these remedies can also be taken daily as immune supportive tonics and are quite tasty.
Tips for making elderberry syrup
- Add in complementary herbs and spices as you have them available. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger are classic additions. I also like to use rose hips and tulsi if I have any on hand. Astragalus and ashwagandha are also favorites.
- If you don’t have any elderberries (there’s been a shortage in recent years so they’re becoming harder to source if you aren’t able to forage for them), try using a combination of rose hips and antioxidant-rich berries or cherries instead of the elderberries. Combine with warming herbs like ginger and cinnamon to keep that circulatory quality of elderberry syrup.
- If you like thicker syrups, use a raw, unrefined organic sugar (it should be pretty colorful, not white). If you don’t mind thinner syrups and want to add even more healing properties to the recipe, use raw honey instead. (Honey isn’t suitable for young children, though, so be mindful.)
Tips for making fire cider
- The core recipe for fire cider includes horseradish root, turmeric, ginger, onions, garlic and cayenne. Aside from those main ingredients, you can use whatever you have on hand to adjust the flavor or add therapeutic qualities to the recipe. Oranges and lemons add a bit of fruity acidity and some extra vitamin C, as do rose hips. Hibiscus flowers will turn everything a vibrant red and add some vitamin C content as well. Rosemary, thyme and oregano will lend their herbaceous medicinal compounds and a fresh flavor. Experiment with different add-ins and substitutions to see if you can come up with a variation that your family really likes.
- Keep your infused vinegar refrigerated to extend its shelf life. I like to keep mine in the fridge while it’s infusing and after straining.
- Make large batches. I usually make mine in a half gallon canning jar and I’ve found that starting a new batch whenever my current batch is ready to strain keeps me from running out throughout the season. This is enough for two of us to take a tablespoon daily when symptoms are absent and hourly when symptoms present. If you have a larger family, you may even want to make more at a time.
FAQ About the Herbal Aromatherapy™ Program
I’ve been receiving a lot of emails with questions about the Herbal Aromatherapy™ certification program that’s opening for enrollment later this fall, so I thought this would be a good place to answer some of them. If you have a question that I haven’t covered here, please leave it in a comment at the end of this blog post.
Q: Is the program about herbs or about aromatherapy?
A: Both. Herbal Aromatherapy™ is a system I’ve developed in an attempt to teach aromatherapy in a way that is much more sustainable and holistic than our society’s current perception of aromatherapy. Rather than focusing on just one or two kinds of products, Herbal Aromatherapy™ focuses on the plants themselves. It incorporates working with the plants in their various forms, including herbs, hydrosols, essential oils, and flower essences. The program will teach you how to know which form of the herb is most suitable for the person and the issue you’re addressing, as well as how to blend and combine them to create effective, synergistic formulas. We also cover working with the plants in your own garden, no matter how much space you have (or don’t have) and home distillation. So both – you’ll get to know the plants in their living forms all the way through to the moment their essential oils and hydrosols are bottled and beyond.
Q: Are you a certified aromatherapist? What qualifies you to teach? Can I trust your information?
A: Yes, I am a certified aromatherapist and a member of NAHA, which is one of the leading aromatherapy organizations in our country. I’m also a practicing herbalist with over 1500 hours of education in the field of herbalism, and am consistently furthering my own studies so I can continue to grow in my own practice and experience. I grow over 70 kinds of medicinal herbs in my own garden for my apothecary and distill hydrosols and essential oils as well.
Q: Will this program qualify me to become a member of NAHA?
A: My hope is to make sure that the program will equip graduates to qualify for membership with any of the aromatherapy organizations within one year of its launch. As I work with the organizations to make sure my curriculum meets their standards, students will have immediate and unlimited access to all updates should I need to add any information in order to meet their standards.
Q: I’m already a certified aromatherapist. Will this program help me?
A: This program will help you build on what you’ve already learned by incorporating herbs, flower essences, hydrosols and distillation into your current repertoire. You’ll also learn how to know when to choose essential oils vs. another form of an herb, how to use essential oils in combination with other forms of herbs, how to distill essential oils and hydrosols in your own home, work with the plants themselves, make herbal remedies, and how to increase sustainability and efficacy in your remedies, protocols and practice.
Q: I’m a beginner. Will this program be too difficult for me?
A: I’ve designed the curriculum to be completely beginner-friendly. It’s a great place to start!
Q: How long will the program take me to complete? Is there a timeline?
A: Most people will be able to complete the program within 12-18 months whilst dedicating a few hours each week to studying. The course is self-paced and you can take as long as you need to to complete it.
Q: How much will the program cost?
A: I have not yet announced the pricing for the program, but I can tell you that the price will be comparable with other programs of this level. If you want to be notified when the price is announced, make sure you’re on my email list (called the insiders group – it’s free).
Apply for a Scholarship for the Program
I want to do what I can to make sure that everyone who is interested in the program has an opportunity to enroll, so I’ve decided to offer a few scholarships for the program this year.
Scholarship applications for the program are now open for anyone who is interested in enrolling in the program. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age but can live anywhere in the world. The program is online and self-paced. It requires internet access.
Applications will remain open until the 18th of October, 2018 and will close promptly at midnight PST on October 18.
Jon and I will spend a week reading through all of the completed applications and will choose a few applicants to attend the program on scholarship this year at our discretion. I will alert those who have been chosen to receive scholarships via email on October 25, so please double check your email address for accuracy when filling out your application.
If you’re at all interested in the program, I highly recommend taking a few moments to apply for a scholarship. Please fill out your application completely, as incomplete applications will not be considered.
Scholarships are non-transferable and non-redeemable for cash.
I wish you all the best of luck!